Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching

Bad Homiletical Models of Expository Preaching

"we can safely say that Joseph Caryl, who took twenty-four years to expound the book of Job in 424 sermons (averaging ten sermons per chapter), was not a good model for preaching "

3557 reads

There are 11 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Another example of good idea, faulty execution.

I've seen this kind of preaching before and usually what it involves is...

  1. Read a portion of the text until you come to a topic or theme that interests you
  2. Expound on that topic or theme using the text as a springboard
  3. When you tire of preaching on that topic, return to the text and repeat step one.

So what it really is is topical series preaching using a particular book of the Bible as introduction only.

With that as a method, the results can vary greatly. The actual thrust of the passage in context is almost always neglected, but some do a fairly good job of handling passages well even when doing topical series. But a larger number, in my experience, do not!

josh p's picture

Aaron, I see that more often than not and it is always refered to as expositional. It is really the method of Spurgeon and some of the Puritains. I believe they call that Textegetical don't they?
 

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I don't think I've ever seen a Spurgeon sermon follow that pattern. Spurgeon generally builds his entire sermon on a single text, developing and applying it phrase by phrase or word by word.

This is quite different from, for example, doing a sermon series on Psalm 23 that goes like this:

Text part 1. "The Lord is my shepherd..."   Sermon 1: Christ the good shepherd. Sermons 2-9, the traits of a good shepherd (pastor)

Text part 2. "I shall not want".. Sermon 10: Being Satisfied with What God Gives You. Sermon 11: The Sin of Greed. Sermon 12: Giving Generously and Trusting God to Meet Your Needs.

Text part 3.  [couldn't figure out what to do with "makes me to lie down..." so...] "He leadeth me..."  Sermon 12: How to Sense God's Leading, Sermons 13-15: More on How to Sense God's Leading. 

Text part 4. "beside still waters"  Sermon 16-18: Knowing the Peace of God in Turbulent Times, parts 1, 2, 3.

And so on. So if you turn every concept into a topic series, you can "preach on Psalm 23 for an entire year!"

But it isn't really "preaching Psalm 23."

I suspect that the OP's 400+ sermons from Job somewhat resembles this handling of Psalm 23.  But even if he really does justice to each text in the entire book, there's a problem: God's people need more exposure to more Scripture than a diet of "all Job all the time for two dozen years." 

JD Miller's picture

Aaron wrote:

I've seen this kind of preaching before and usually what it involves is...

Read a portion of the text until you come to a topic or theme that interests you
Expound on that topic or theme using the text as a springboard
When you tire of preaching on that topic, return to the text and repeat step one.

So what it really is is topical series preaching using a particular book of the Bible as introduction only.

With that as a method, the results can vary greatly. The actual thrust of the passage in context is almost always neglected, but some do a fairly good job of handling passages well even when doing topical series. But a larger number, in my experience, do not!

We attended a church in our area that we hoped would be a like minded church (we are church planters and have not yet begun holding Sunday services).  The pastor claimed to be preaching through the book of Revelation.  He had us turn to a verse in Revelation, then he found a word or a phrase in that verse that was also found in anther passage even though that passage was talking about something completely different.  Then he found a word or phrase in that passage that allowed him to springboard to a different passage and used that as a springboard to rant about how we should not have our kids in public school.  This came from his series on Revelation.  Needless to say, we have not been back. 

 

JD Miller's picture

Jim, I thought it was Revelation 22:5.  I went online to listen to it while I was working and it was a different message than I remember but with a similar approach.  (Let me also state that I think there is great value in a variety of preaching styles, so I do not want to sound overly critical).  I do not remember the word or phrase he used in the message we went to but on the one I just listened to, he used several different words and phrases that he dealt with one at a time.  First he dealt with the word "they".  It was more of a word study message, but at least he held on point for that word.  But then he got to the word "shall" and after that the word "reign".  This brought him off text to other subjects.  Though he was accurate in what he preached, he departed from the main point of the text he was expositing.  I fear I have done that a bit myself from time to time, but I try to guard against it.  There are few churches in our area of a quarter of a million people that are strong on expository preaching.  There are a few Baptist churches that would label themselves as fundamental, but that was the only one of them that was not KJO.  Yes, we need a church plant here.  In fact I think we could use more than just one, but we need to start somewhere. 

We are currently at about 31.5% of our support and are hoping to get to 40% support by this fall.  At that point we would stop deputation and then continue to tentmake (carpentry) for the other 60%.  We have 13 adults regularly attend the Bible study that I lead, but we have not had time to really do much outreach in the community because I have been trying to balance secular work and deputation.  We want to expand the Bible study with the goal of discipleship and then finding enough people that agree with our position that they are committed to being part of a new church.  Our goal is to be able to focus more on local ministry without having to travel so much (we were in 46 churches and put on about 19,000 miles last year).  Please continue to pray for the Sioux Falls area and our ministry here.   Thank you, Jerry

JD Miller's picture

Jim wrote:

I suspect that Great Plans Baptist Theology School (link is external) has a great impact on your area? 

They may have a bit of an impact among the JKVO crowd, but I do not think they have much impact in the area as a whole.  I have not met very many people who are familiar with them, though a few with a Baptist background are.  I interacted a bit with them over 15 yrs ago, but they are in a different camp than I am.  I am a Regular Baptist non KJO.  They are what most would label as Baptist Brider, though they do not use that term.  Further, back then (I am not sure if it is still the same today) they expected that each member should get the pastor's permission if they ever decided to get a different car or any other big decision was made.  These are some of the reasons why I would distance myself from their ministry.

Jim's picture

JD Miller wrote:
Further, back then (I am not sure if it is still the same today) they expected that each member should get the pastor's permission if they ever decided to get a different car ... 

The Pastor as "Consumer Reports" ... and then some. Couldn't live in a system like that ... unless he is willing to pay for it too!